I’m not good at coming up with good blog titles.
I never really thought Trump would win. Surely there weren’t enough angry, bigoted white voters to outnumber the various other voting blocs. I was eager to marinate in the schadenfreude of his imminent defeat, and then for him and his ilk to fade away into the shadows where they belong. Such innocent times.
One of the reasons I was never able to believe in the God of Christianity is the existence of terrible humans who have good things happen to them. Roughly speaking, the problem of evil has never been satisfactorily addressed by the Abrahamic religions. The Eastern traditions posit the karmic cycle of samsara, which I think is a rather elegant philosophical solution: shitty people will get what’s coming to them in the next life. It’s nice to think of Trump reaping the reward he’s so justly earned in his next life. How about as an insect preyed upon by parasitoid wasps? But alas, only the emptiness of nonexistence awaits us all. Bummer. Maybe he’ll die soon? Like next week? A boy can dream.
Here are some kind of positive things:
- Trump appears to not be a fan of continuing America’s role as world police. That’s probably good, right? US hegemony has been an abject failure. But really, he’s changed his mind so often and is so thin-skinned, it’s easy to see ISIS goading him into their desired apocalyptic war with the west.
- Ummm… Hmm. I guess having someone so odious in the White House that has the backing of the House, Senate, and SCOTUS could galvanize opposition of all kinds, from those working within the system, to more radical anti-state/anti-capitalist types (full disclosure, I was a teenage anarchist).
- That’s all I got. This is a bad list.
In adulthood, I haven’t been able to transition philosophically into the, in my eyes, benign ideologies of liberalism/progressivism. I voted for Hillary, but I did so feeling that performing my “civic duty” made me complicit in a sociopolitical system I think is shit. Historically, America has been irredeemably racist and sexist (in addition to other bigotries), and works best for the wealthy. Profound, heady stuff, I know. If you voted, you played the game and the end result, instead of being merely not great, is catastrophically bad. But that’s our hallowed democracy, right? Incremental progress has been made, but that progress, hated by the now fully de-closeted bigots, is being confronted with vengeance.
This is not to boil this year’s election to the very familiar “lesser of two evils” refrain. Nor is it to focus on my insipidly heart-wrenching complicity in that which I do not condone: Trump is far worse than Hillary. I am a straight, white, cisgender male. And I wish the worst for those among that wide swath of privilege that enabled that waste in human form’s rise to power.
I’ll end with two things from two friends. First:
I am scared for our country, for minorities, and for my family, my kids. My young kids watched the election all night because they were afraid of trump winning. Over the last year, they have been told because they are “brown”, when trump is president they have to leave. (They are 2nd generation American born citizens) My kids do not deserve to live in fear. They deserve better than trump.”
Infuriating and heartbreaking. I’ll never know what that feels like, due to my privilege. Second, from my good friend and proprietor of the fantastic metal label/distro Gilead Media:
I will protect women, people of color, immigrants, those of non binary gender identity, and non Christians, and by force if required. Be ready to do the same. If you see someone being harassed, you must act in some way.
“Those with unjust hate in their hearts think it’s open season on us and the ones we love. But this is when we see the faces of those that would oppress us. They will crawl out of the shadows and reveal their true face. Remember every face.”
“They will crawl out of the shadows and reveal their true face,” indeed. This is a good thing. Add that to list above.
Dr Sarah says
‘Maybe he’ll die soon? Like next week? A boy can dream.’
And then we get four years of Pence instead. Which wouldn’t exactly be much of an improvement.
Although I suppose you’re going to get that anyway, since we know he’s planning to leave the grunt work to Pence while he enjoys the fun bits.
There is no good side to any of this.
Everything you said is totally right. Sigh
“America elects the least religiously observant candidate in living memory.” Isn’t that something approaching good? I mean let it be, please.
I’m seeing a LOT of this on FTB. A lot of “fuck white people”, “fuck poor people”, “fuck straight cisgendered blue-collar men”, “fuck anyone who voted for Trump”, “fuck anyone who DIDN’T vote for Clinton”.
I’m seeing very, very little (really hardly anything all, so far) from any soi-disant progressives about “seriously, fuck hard with a rusty tentpole the Democratic Party for fielding such a trainwreck of a candidate and running such a poor campaign”. Hillary got run because it was Hillary’s turn – not because she had the best chance of winning of any of the candidates, not because she was most popular (or least unpopular), not because her policies were best, and not because the Dems took Trump seriously as an opponent and did their best work presenting an alternative.
Hillary had known scandal in her background, she’s an easy hate figure for really far too many of the voting population, her policies (particularly foreign policy) are frankly scary and most of all, Trump was treated as a joke EVEN WHILE PEOPLE WERE VOTING FOR HIM.
Oh yeah. You and really way too many other people. There’ve been a tiny number of voices over the last year and a bit saying “You know, Trump really could win this”, and the response has been consistent: ridicule and abuse. Well it gives me no pleasure, none whatsoever, to say I fucking told you so.
And even now, the focus of progressive anger – and there’s a lot of it about – is on Trump, the white men who voted for him in droves, the media, really ANYONE but the people really to blame: the Democrat establishment. You’ve got four years to pull that shit down and build something that can beat that arsehole in 2020, but no, keep heaping abuse on the people who voted for him.
I can do practically nothing, sitting here in the UK, and yet it’s likely I and a lot of other people in other countries will be materially harmed by the splash damage. That said, one can at least hope that wedding guests in Yemen and Afghanistan might be a little bit safer in 2017. There’s another tiny positive.
I’m hereby presenting a few points of contention and contrast. The Islamic State did indeed wish for an apocalyptic war, but hasn’t gotten one, until they became crazy enough to bomb a plane full of Russian civilians, and boy, oh boy… you.never.attack.Russia.unless. you have. a death wish. Thus, they got it. Can and will the US abandon the role of a military superpower by which they can sway decisions from they either benefit or makes them look good? Hell no. Lockheed et al are in the business since I like Ike, and giving that up would mean Russia, China and North Korea take over.
That brings me to my second point. Lobbies hover above the aisles, and elections/reelections depend on their support. I can totally see a crusade led by Pence to introduce social decisions and revoke others to fit a personal taste, but economically Trump is a feather in the wind, wherever he tries to step out of the line, Ted Cruz will have a 16 hours filibuster, and this time the GOP will actually support him. Free trade won’t be canceled, corporate loopholes won’t be closed, the gas tax meant to provide maintaining infrastructure won’t be raised.
Yes, it will suck for every Americans who are deemed irrelevant by the members of both houses, and suck it will hard. On the other hand, it will also suck for voters who thought electing him will bring huuuuuge changes, as almost nothing they were promised will become policy. To quote one politician, who congratulated Trump, “You can’t hold us responsible for not delivering on campaign promises, we’re only bound by the proposed policies in the government’s program”. He did not say that in relation to Trump, but his own premiership, when he was taken to task as to where are the prosperous plans he promised. Trump is no exception, he will navigate within business as usual, which he knows all to well, as he benefited from the lobby on real estate legislation, and because he donated to several politicians. He practically gave up on that when he got elected, as he’ll be a president reliant on Congress, who in turn rely on donors, who in turn rely on policies Trump promised to cancel. Going along with Donald’s plan would be political suicide, because, as evidenced by Tea Party politicians, they’re passionate, but not very competent.